Thursday, July 31, 2014

Born To Dance-1936

No question at all what's being promoted here--Eleanor Powell's legs. I don't like the art. She looks drunk. Literally falling down drunk. As anyone who saw THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT knows, this is also the picture where Jimmy Stewart sings...sort a way. Note that her name is more than twice as big as his, though. Some nice supporting players but still, purely on the basis of this, I'd have to pass.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wonder Bar-1934

Warner Brothers of the 1930s was known for gritty crime dramas and for over the top musicals. Here we have a schizophrenic musical crime drama. Couldn't tell it from the ad, though, which pushes it as another Busby Berkeley-style musical, even though it's not directed by Berkeley. Too much text in too many different sizes and fonts doesn't help. A nice list of stars but with no one really highlighted here as THE star! A terrible ad all around. I'm staying home.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Your Toes-1939

ON YOUR TOES was a big, successful Rodgers and Hart Broadway musical that featured a ballet background and created a star in Ray Bolger. The Rodgers and Hart songs were rewritten by others for the film and Eddie Albert was brought in for the lead. Only one thing is being sold here, though, and that's ballet and stage star Vera Zorina. The ballet is even downplayed, with her looking here more like a typical showgirl. Twisting the whole thing to a slight angle for no apparent reason doesn't help either.
Verdict: No.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Sister Eileen-1955

This is a nice simple one highlighting the film's Broadway origins and secondarily highlighting the two female leads. The color and background light it all up and even the title looks like  a stage marquee. What's it about? A girl and her sister, apparently. The word "uproariously" would seem to imply it's a comedy and there are a  couple of good comedic character actors listed. Still...what's it about? As pretty as this one is, I don't really think it works as an ad, presuming, apparently that you have prior knowledge of the play...and what if you don't. I'd have too pass in spite of the nice looking ad.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Girls of Pleasure Island-1953

It's impossible not to pick up on what this one is selling! It was 1953 and the standards were easing up in movies. Sex was selling again for the first time since the Hays Code. Leo Genn. most often a  more serious actor, seems an odd choice for top billing in this type of picture and none of the girls introduced are really remembered today. But this is such a cute and vaguely naughty ad that I'm sure I'd have gone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

April in Paris-1952

Another random spin of the wheel brings us another Doris Day vehicle. Just a few years beyond her debut in pictures, DoDo clearly highlights this ad with her male co-star not even being all there! Was Ray Bolger really still a viable screen name in '52? Well, yes. After WHERE'S CHARLEY in 1948, he earned a few more years of big screen fame before settling into television and becoming a legend. He was 18 years older than his co-star here but that happened a lot on movies. The song of the same name had been a standard since 1932 and thus the title alone was a guarantee of box office. Doris's smile cinched it. What's not to like. Sure. Let's go.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Young Mr. Lincoln-1939

What's being sold here is Honest Abe himself. Fonda has just enough makeup to NOT look like Fonda so it sure isn't him. The supporting cast is good but not very well known and director Ford's name is in tiny print. The photos almost circle and definitely highlight his name and the torch acts as an arrow pointing to the face. Nope. Lincoln, pure and simple and Abe was a hero to so many then, more so even than now. No question I'd see it.